Klassik and Kingsbury honored as the ‘2021 Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year’

April 22, 2021

The late Mildred Harpole

Klassik (Kellen Abston) and Anne Kingsbury are the 2021 Mildred L. Harpole Artists of the Year. Recipients each receive a $1,500 cash award.

The Artist of the Year program was inaugurated in 1995 by Wayne Frank, then common council member and Milwaukee Arts Board (MAB) Chair. Artist of the Year became Artists of the Year in 2003 at the suggestion of current MAB Chair, Alderman Michael Murphy.

Klassik (Kellen Abston) is a multi-instrumentalist producer and performer: “rapper, soul man, producer, collaborator, mentor, keeper of the American songbook.” His most recent album, QUIET, 2019, was named the #1 album of 2019 by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and garnered awards for Best Solo Artist and Critic’s Choice for Album of the Year at the 2019 Radio Milwaukee Music Awards.

Anne Kingsbury is an artist and community activist. She taught at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee before co-founding the Woodland Pattern Book Center with her husband in 1979. Perhaps more widely known as a visual artist, Kingsbury has been creating prints and mixed media figurative works since the 1970s. With the inclusion of text from personal journals and lists, using feminine imagery of quilts, dolls or pot holders, her art production mirrors her life as a woman experiencing the challenges of a many-faceted career.